[OPE-L:1880] Re: Re: value-form theories

Subject: [OPE-L:1880] Re: Re: value-form theories
From: Andrew Brown (A.N.Brown@uel.ac.uk)
Date: Fri Dec 10 1999 - 07:02:19 EST


Many thanks for the clarification. I must go back and look at R&W,
and then get back to you, because even the passages you quote
haven't as yet made me see sense (see below). Also, do you think the
point that Chris Arthur endorses the same quantitative formula as Fred
is relevant?

You wrote

> In the last page cited in the subject index there is a brief discussion of
> *ideal surplus value* (and *ideal profit*). The presentation starts with
> the following:
> "Accumulation of capital generates an increasing amount of ideal
> surplus value s, defined as s = (m-w)I (where m is the ideal
> money expression of labour, w the wage rate and I social
> aggregate labour). The term 'ideal' refers to as yet
> unvalidated entities" (104)

Surely this formula directly relates surplus value to labour time? You
may have in mind that, if abstract labour is nothing other than price, then it cannot
determine the magnitude of price - but I suppose I think that, for R&W,
abstract labour is in some sense not merely price. 'Value', on the other hand,
for R&W, is probably nothing other than price ('pure transcendental form'). I have
to admit that this notion of 'pure form' seems nonesensical to me.

> I think that the category of ideal value means that, in their theory, the
> magnitude of surplus value can only be calculated (and known) _ex post_ as
> profit.

As I understand it, the same is true for Marx: as I tried to explain in a
previous post, money is the 'external measure' of value. So nothing
rests on this point (as it relates to the Marx vs. value-form debate).
With or without Marx's notion of substance of value, it remains the
case that value can only be calculated (and known) ex post as price.

Apologies to Chris, Micheal, and Geert Reuten if I am way off mark.


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